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The Early Schelling: Between Fichte and Spinoza

The Early Schelling: Between Fichte and Spinoza

(p.161) Chapter Nine The Early Schelling: Between Fichte and Spinoza
The Romantic Absolute
Dalia Nassar
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Schelling’s earliest philosophical writings, and argues that until 1796, Schelling was much more influenced by Spinoza than by Fichte. It illustrate that although Schelling shared fundamental questions and concerns with Fichte, in his early works he employed Fichtean terminology to explicate Spinozist ideas. In deep contrast to the widespread view of the early Schelling as a disciple of Fichte, the chapter shows that Schelling’s conception of intellectual intuition, which he first developed in Vom Ich als Prinzip der Philosophie (1795), mirrors Spinoza’s third kind of knowledge, and has little to do with Fichte’s notion of intellectual intuition. It concludes with an explanation of why Schelling remained a critic of Spinoza in spite of their clear affinities, and illustrates how this criticism is directly connected to Schelling’s later philosophy of nature.

Keywords:   Friedrich Schelling, Fichte, Spinoza, German idealism, intellectual intuition, the absolute, the absolute I, third kind of knowledge, transcendental philosophy, history of philosophy

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